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Copy of "Once Upon a Time" by Nadine Gordimer.
Transcript of Copy of "Once Upon a Time" by Nadine Gordimer.
The story is written in two parts the beginning is set in a first-person perspective. The narrator is asked to contribute to a collection of stories for children, but the narrator rejects the request.
How The Characters are Presented:
The narrator is presented as annoyed and fearful(Gordimer 247).
The couple is presented as fearful (Gordimer 248).
The little boy is carefree (Gordimer 251).
The housemaid is trustworthy (Gordimer 251).
The itinerant gardener is compassionate(Gordimer 252).
The tone of the story is terror and paranoia. Both the narrator, the man and wife experience terror (Gordimer 247 & 249). The man and wife experience paranoia when they go to extreme measures of protect their house and family (Gordimer 251).
Represents a self inflected prison.
Person Against Person:
"Once Upon a Time"
The man and wife.
The little boy.
The itinerant gardener.
The pet cat:
Represents "Comings and going" (Gordimer 250).
There have been burglaries in their neighborhood; the couple takes precautions to keep their home safe. The couple increases their security and builds a security wall topped with barbed wire. One evening, the mother reads her son a bedtime story. The next day, he pretends he is a prince rescuing a princess the boy crawls into the barbed wire, and he struggles to get out.
The second part is in a neighborhood with a family, their pets, housemaid, and part-time gardener.
The main theme, an unjust social system that creates a fearful environment for the oppressor and the oppressed. And, that human beings create their own destiny.
Represents the outside world is dangerous
How does the little boy die?
A) He drowns in the swimming pool?
B) He is attacked by people rioting?
C) He is caught in barbed wire?
D) He is not dead?
A) The husband's mother?
B) The boy's babysitter?
C) The housemaid?
D) The boy's mother without makeup?
Who is the "wise old witch"?
What/who awakens the narrator during the night?
A) The narrator hears barking dogs?
B) An intruder?
C) Her husband came into the room?
D) Miners that have been caught in the mining tunnels?
Questions Continued (Again)
"Once Upon a Time". Gordimer, Nadine. Arp, Thomas R., Greg Johnson, and Laurence Perrine. Perrine's Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense. 11th ed. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012. 247 Print.
By going to the extreme measures of protecting their home, was it conducive to the outcome of the story?
The intent was keeping their family safe from riot damage (Gordimer 248). But, then it ends person against person when the little boy is caught in the barbed wire (Gordimer 252).
Represents The Apartheid in South Africa (Froelich and Halle 213).
Froflich, Vera P., and Jennifer Halle "Gordimer's 'Once Upon a Time'. (South Africa Author Nadine Gordimer's 1989 Short Story)". The Explicator, 1998. 213. Gale Group. Web. 03 Apr. 2013.
Short Answer Question:
South Africa: During racial segregation (Froelich and Halle 213).
An atmosphere of fear and destruction (Gordimer 247 & 252).
A happy family: Located in a "perfect" suburb (Gordimer 248).
What year was "Once Upon a Time" first published?